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Sony and Sharp Remain Committed to Japan Smartphone Market Despite iPhone Dominance

Sony and Sharp continue to invest in the Japanese smartphone market despite iPhone dominance. Sony's new Xperia 1 VI smartphone features cutting-edge camera lenses and advanced features. Apple holds over 50% of the Japanese smartphone market, posing a challenge for Sony and Sharp.

Despite facing challenges, Sony and Sharp see smartphones as a platform to showcase their latest technologies and strengthen their brand presence.

Sony's new Xperia 1 VI smartphone boasts cutting-edge camera lenses and other advanced features.
Credit: NIKKEI ASIA

Sony recently unveiled its new Xperia 1 VI smartphone, which features cutting-edge camera lenses and advanced features. The device's sophisticated lenses allow users to capture clear images of distant objects and detailed close-ups of flowers. Sony has also focused on improving audio quality and battery life through innovative technology and design.


However, both Sony and Sharp face tough competition from Apple, which holds over 50% of the Japanese smartphone market. Sony currently holds a modest 6% market share, trailing behind Apple, Sharp, Google, and Samsung Electronics. Globally, even Apple is experiencing challenges as the smartphone market matures, with a decline in net sales and profits.


In addition to competition, high prices are also deterring Japanese consumers from purchasing smartphones. More than half of the smartphones sold by major domestic mobile carriers in the last quarter of 2023 were priced above 80,000 yen, with devices exceeding 100,000 yen becoming increasingly common. This is due to policies aimed at preventing phone costs from being passed on to mobile plan prices, as well as the growing sophistication of smartphones. As a result, consumers are opting for midrange products and using them for longer periods.


Despite these obstacles, Sony continues to release new smartphone models as they serve as a platform to showcase the company's latest technologies. Sony's Xperia series supports the growth of its entertainment business, which now generates more than half of the company's consolidated operating profit. The Xperia brand also plays a crucial role in Sony's overall brand strategy, as consumers place importance on brand recognition in the electronics industry.


Sharp, the second-largest player in the Japanese smartphone market, recently announced a major restructuring of its LCD panel business. The company will withdraw from TV display production and shut down a domestic factory to improve earnings. Sharp's new Aquos R9 smartphone, which uses organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, is seen as a step towards these reform efforts. However, Sharp will need to rely on external procurement for OLED panels as its sole production facility will be shut down.


Despite the challenges, both Sony and Sharp are determined to maintain their presence in the Japanese smartphone market. Sony sees smartphones as a way to showcase its latest technologies and support its entertainment business, while Sharp aims to leverage its brand recognition and maintain a connection with loyal consumers.

 
  • Sony and Sharp continue to invest in the Japanese smartphone market despite iPhone dominance

  • Sony's new Xperia 1 VI smartphone features cutting-edge camera lenses and advanced features

  • Apple holds over 50% of the Japanese smartphone market, posing a challenge for Sony and Sharp


Source: NIKKEI ASIA



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